Biography - William H. Sparling, M. D.

WlLLIAM H. SPARLING, M. D., Moweaqua, is a fine representative of the best physicians of this section, whose learning ability and eminent success in their practice have contributed to raise the standard of their noble profession in Central Illinois. Our subject was born in County Clare, Ireland, January 15, 1849. His father, Joseph Sparling, was also a native of that Irish county, and was of German descent, his ancestors having left Germany on account of religious persecution and taken up their abode on the Emerald Isle during the reign of Queen Anne.

The father of our subject was reared and married in his native county, where his whole life was passed, his death occurring in 1850. He was engaged in the mercantile business up to that time, and by his removal while yet in life's prime the interests of his community suffered a serious loss. His wife, Hannah Reynard in her maiden days, was born in the same county as himself and was also of German lineage. She survived her husband many years and in 1851 came with her seven children to America. She first settled at London, Canada, whence she subsequently removed to Hamilton. In 1859 she crossed the border, and from that time to her death in 1877 was a resident of the United States, making her home in Detroit, Mich. The following is recorded of her children: Walter, Joseph and Charles are in the dry-goods business in Detroit; John is a minister in the Methodist Episcopal Church, a member of the Detroit Conference; Anna married James Keiller, of Detroit; Bella married William F. Deike, of Chicago; William H. is the subject of this biography.

Dr. Sparling was but two years old when he came to America with his mother, brothers and sisters, and therefore has no recollection of his native island. He was given fine educational advantages in the public schools of Canada and in the higher institutions of learning in this country. His first experience of school life was in the city schools of London and Hamilton. After the family removed to Detroit he became a student at the High School of that city, and was graduated from there in the Class of '67. He then spent a year of hard study in the Northwestern University at Evanston, Ill. At the expiration of that time he began to prepare himself for the medical profession, for which he had a decided taste, under the instruction of Prof. N. W. Webster, of the Detroit Medical College. He was graduated from the institution in the Class of '72. Having completed his medical education, the Doctor decided to enter upon his chosen calling at Cerro Gordo, Piatt County, this State, and he was located there from 1872 to 1876, when he came to Moweaqua and the people of this city and the surrounding country have since had the benefit of his knowledge and skill. During his fifteen years' residence here he has devoted himself very closely to his profession, and to-day has a reputation second to that of none other of his vocation in this part of the State.

To the lady who presides so graciously over his home and looks carefully after his comfort and happiness, our subject was wedded in 1875. They have two children living, James L. and Mabel. Mrs. Sparling was formerly Miss Minnie Eva Lyons, and is a daughter of James and Annie Lyons. Her native place is Simcoe, Canada.

The Doctor is a member of the Illinois State Medical Society, and of the Central Illinois Medical Society, also of the American Medical Association. He is connected with the temperance order of Royal Templars. His parents were devoted members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, reared him in that faith, and he and his wife now belong to the church of that denomination in this city. In the course of his practice he has formed many strong and lasting friendships among the people to whose ailments he has administered and he is the well-beloved physician in many a household where his presence has brought healing, or has soothed the last hours of the dying.

Extracted 13 Jan 2018 by Norma Hass from 1891 Portrait and Biographical Record of Shelby and Moultrie Counties Illinois, pages 450-451.

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